EHS Data Limited

Monitoring Databases

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Courtesy of EHS Data Limited

EHS Data have been providing software and services to our clients to help them manage and report on their Environmental, Health and Safety Data for more than 14 years. This paper deals with the global evolution in environmental concerns and how this changes the data management obligations and requirements of companies.


We have found that the drivers range from mandatory obligations such as permits, through voluntary processes such as Sustainability / Corporate Social Responsibility. Historically the management of environmental impacts was of concern because it had to be and companies could simply not operate unless they had a Permit within which their environmental impact was regulated. In recent years however, voluntary processes have grown rapidly and companies have increasingly seen these as a means of demonstrating to shareholders, potential investors and other stakeholders that they behave responsibly and seek to manage and reduce their impacts. In Western Australia further drivers have also come to the fore over recent years. These include the obligations created by the National Pollution Inventory, which requires that qualifying companies report on emissions of 93 polluting substances, and the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act which includes energy use and consequent CO2 production, as well as a range of other greenhouse gases such and halogenated organic materials (e.g. CFC’s) nitrous oxide, methane and sulphur hexafluoride.     


All of these drivers mean that companies have to manage and report on an ever-increasing volume of data. In the past as data collection was simple this was often carried out using generic tools such as Microsoft Excel. With the increase in drivers however, the volume and complexity of the data management task has grown rapidly and, as a consequence, the ability of Excel, and similar tools, to cope has reduced. This has meant that companies are very often unable to efficiently manage and report on data, leading to a potential inability to manage performance, loss of confidence of regulators and increased corporate risk. There are however a number of specialist tools on the market to help with this process and we describe some of the ways our systems have had to evolve to help clients, particularly in Western Australia, with the management of this task.    


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